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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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It must be emphasised that no proof whatsoever was put forward
by the Soviet authorities to substantiate their accusations or to justify the
execution of these men.*

On the other hand3 there was ample evidence that the Soviet authorities
never had any intention of releasing Erlich and Alter entirely, or of allow-
ing them to leave Russia. In pursuance of the Soviet-Polish Pact>
thousands of Polish citizens were at that period being released from
Soviet prisons and camps. Each individual received from the Soviet
authorities an official document confirming his release^ but Erlich and
Alter were not given such papers.

Erlich and Alter had been executed and the Soviet Government, under
international pressure, finally acknowledged this fact. The Comin-
tern regarded these men and their fellow Socialists as a dangerous element
and as competitors in the fight to gain control of the e international
proletariat.5 They were e traitors to the working class.3 The Polish
Socialists had been killed by the N.K.V.D. acting under the orders of the
Comintern. Thousands of Polish citizens had been sent to death by ±e
N.K.V.D. under the orders of the Soviet Government simply because
they were Poles, and stood in the path of the advance of Russian

" What do the Poles mean to us ? " impatiently exclaimed Zhukov
(N.K.V.D. Liaison Officer attached to the Polish troops), irritated by
stubborn efforts of the Polish authorities to extract every one of their
citizens from the Russian prisons, "we treat them in the same way as our
own people are treated."

No amount of intervention on the part of the Allied Governments
could prevail upon the Kremlin, and the rest of the Polish people who had
survived their ordeals were not allowed to leave Russia. All the Polish
Government appeals " in the name of the solidarity of the United Nations
and of elementary humanity " had no effect. To the appeals of Churchill,
Roosevelt and the rest of the people in the world who were prepared to
fight every injustice, the Kremlin consistently replied with an auto-
cratic : " No !" " Stalin, like Pharaoh, hardened his heart," commented
the " Scotsman."

* The New York Post of March 4th, 1943, reported :
"Wendell Wilkie personally asked Joseph Stalin in Moscow to release from a
Soviet prison Victor Alter and Henryk Erlich, who by that time had already been
secretly executed by the Russians . . .
The fact that Erlich and Alter were already dead was only revealed in the reply
to a telegraphic appeal made by the American Federation of Labour, the American
Congress of Industrial Organisations3 and a number of other great workers*
organisations and prominent persons. It is now apparent that many of those
appeals were made on behalf of men who were already dead. The Soviet Govern-
ment decided to reveal the truth about their execution at the moment chosen by
them as the most convenient—when the Soviet Armies were advancing victoriously.